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Publisher's Summary

In this narrative of extraordinary richness, depth, and authority, America's preeminent biographer/historian explored the German national character as no other writer has done. The Arms of Krupp brings to life Europe's wealthiest, most powerful family, a 400-year German dynasty that developed the world's most technologically advanced weapons, from cannons to submarines to antiaircraft guns; provided arms to generations of German leaders, including the Kaiser and Hitler; operated private concentration camps during the Nazi era; survived conviction at Nuremberg; and wielded enormous influence on the course of world events. William Manchester's galvanizing account of the rise and fall of the Krupp dynasty is history as it should be written - alive with all its terrifying power.

©1968 William Manchester (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about The Arms of Krupp

Average Customer Ratings
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Where did Chapter Nine go?

The audiobook jumps from the middle of chapter nine to chapter 10. Missing is the pivotal scandal that consumed Fritz Krupp, leading to Bertha becoming "Cannon Queen." It's just gone. Fortunately, I've read this book before, but Audible customers are gonna be going, "Huh? Whaaaaat?"

66 people found this helpful

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So what happened to Fritz Krupp?

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Not leaving out a pivotal part of the book (part of chapter 9)

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Arms of Krupp?

The fact that they skipped one of the pivotal sections of the book.

What does Paul Boehmer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I found him an excellent narrator overall.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Arms of Krupp?

None, unlike the "unabridged" audio book I payed for.

Any additional comments?

I wish they'd fix the issue with the missing section.

30 people found this helpful

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BIG CHUNK MISSING

Audible has no mechanism for reporting techniocal issues in its recordings. So I have to use this review in the hope that somebody reads it and does something to fix this one. It is not the first like this that I have found and I am sure it will not be the last. But this one just got really annoying.

The recording truncates chapter 9 of the book. I don't know how much is missing but it is enough to exclude the suicide of one of the central figures after a sex scandal and half of the dynastic implications that it caused. Annoying in itself but doubly so when the rest of the book makes continuing references to that period for which, as a listener, you have been given no information. Its a 47 hour book and about every 20 minutes for the last 37 hours of it an oblique reference is made to a conversation that you have not been allowed to hear.

The book is fine. The narrator is fine. The recording is massively frustrating and substandard. Audible needs to pay a bit more attention to QA or at least let its listeners do the job effectively for them.

91 people found this helpful

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Excellent Narration!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I was surprised by the very intriguing and engaging subject material as one would expect such a volume would belabor the average listener, yet there never seems a moment when we are bombarded by technical or metric information. Mr. Manchester could make the greatest reading from absolutely anything!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Most all of the characters are indispensable yet Alfred the Great was that one pivoteable figure all others were centered around.

What about Paul Boehmer’s performance did you like?

I appreciated his slight inflections of sarcasm and disdain. Paul obviously understood Manchester very well. The best narrations are ones that don't distract and we were served very well, thank you PB!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

They put the 'fun' in dysfunctional! Yes, go the comic route. There's just too much of it there...

Any additional comments?

It would seem the problems regarding chapter 9 were addressed.

6 people found this helpful

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  • J.
  • 07-19-17

Merchants of Death Are People Too

I read this book more than forty years ago and loved it then. I love the audio version more. This is a long long book and many might drown in it's minutia. Manchester, however, is a master at epic story telling. He weaves history, period drama, and technical explanation into a compelling work that holds one's attention. Of course it helps that each generation of Krupp patriarchs had their quirks and closet skeletons. The Krupps were not king makers, but they were the family that armed kings. They allowed good men to make strong states and bad men to commit mass murder.

This is an old book and it is easy to forget that at the time it was published the implication of Germany as a whole with the Holocaust and not just the Nazis was new and controversial. Much of the second half of the work examines the Krupp family's willing use of slave labor to maintain the Nazi war machine. Critics charged Manchester as unfairly biased against the Germans; this at a time of the Cold War when it had become an important ally. Readers today should have better distance to judge.

Historians as well criticized "The Arms of Krupp" for its pretense as a scholarly work. There well may be a few cases where Manchester does not allow facts to get in the way of a good story, but more likely academic poo-pooing has more to do with envy over's Manchester's ability to make money from his historical writings.

12 people found this helpful

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Pronunciation may be correct, but annoying.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Ok, but too easy to put down due to narration.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Another History title.

How could the performance have been better?

The pause prior to every attempt at 'proper' pronunciation of names, words and phrases was so irritating. Would have preferred Grover Gardner's narration by far.

Do you think The Arms of Krupp needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

All good books on German oligarchs' participation in Nazi militarism should be added to audible titles. Alchemy of Air is best.

Any additional comments?

Over emphasis of non-English pronunciation is distracting, annoying and so unnecessary. It ruined an otherwise acceptable title.

9 people found this helpful

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  • ES
  • 05-30-17

just ok

Any additional comments?

For the most part the book is interesting and informative. However the author has the annoying conceit of liberally sprinkling the book with German phrases along with their translations. Unless his purpose is to provide lessons in German this does nothing except to slow down the narrative. The narrator does not have a comfortable cadence and has the habit of drawing out the name Krupp to KKKrrupp.The book is unnecessarily lengthened by the inclusion of the German phrases and uninteresting details. Otherwise the book is a good history of Krupp.

11 people found this helpful

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Fascinating Saga

"The Arms of Krupp" is the comprehensive story of the notorious German Krupp family, most known as influential members of the Nazi Party. Alfred Krupp served time for war crimes. As a matter of fact, the Krupp family's use of slave labor via the concentration camps is the most appalling and shocking part of the book. William Manchester's work is exhaustive and exquisite. It is so comprehensive that it does drag at times, but it's not laborious. It's more because there is so much information. At 48 plus hours long, it is a most compelling listen.

Paul Boehmer's narration is perfect for this German saga. He has some interesting ways of pronouncing words, but it's not distracting. He keeps the pace moving as it should. Well done. What a masterpiece of the biographical narrative.

2 people found this helpful

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review

the major problem with this book is that the English is intermittently translated to German and it becomes extremely annoying and totally unnecessary for an English-speaking reader / listener. It was so irritating that I decided to do something that I rarely do which is never finished the book.

2 people found this helpful

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Manchester!

Manchester is the best and the story of Germany thru the Krupp lens is fascinating

1 person found this helpful

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  • qwerty
  • 08-27-18

Evil is as evil does

An interesting yet terrible story of unfettered want leading to insatiable expansion. A tale of a sickening family. Selfish people wrapped up in the flag and name of patriotism until their machinations backfired. The overweening self-pity of these middle class wannabe aristocrats when it all begins to crumble should be a cautionary tale for all who presume personal infallibility and familial eternity. Truly a warning from history.

2 people found this helpful

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  • David Gillette-Inglis
  • 01-12-21

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.

A heavywieght book not for the faint hearted. A very detailed history of the Krupp dynasty providing insights into the workings and machinations of a very closely knit family with more than a little machiavellian tendencies throughout their long history. To do the book justice it needs to be read more than once and the serious reader or listener would be advised to take notes in order to remind them of the key players and events. It is worth noting that the events up to 1968 are now over 50 years in the past, some obviously far older than this but there can be parallels drawn with events in the modern era of the European Union in the late 20th. and early 21st centuries. Whilst no longer in single person ownership and somewhat smaller than at the height of its power, Krupp is still a large and powerful industrial organisation. The book does require concentration and at times one could almost give up but the author then reveals another point of interest to keep the reader anticipating yet more to come, indeed one of the more interesting points is only revealed at the demise of the organisation in 1967 when it is revealed that a yearly payment of a significant amount to the family was decreed in German law signed by Adolf Hitler. Whether this payment continues to this day to the heirs of the estate is uncertain. Other points of interest include the degree of direct involvement in the design and manufacture of the range and complexity of the armaments produced and the apparent strength of the Krupp dynasty over successive governments in Germany and overseas. The methods involved in their manufacturing operations and the use of labour, particularly that of enforced low-pay and enforced or slave labour is odious to say the least and shows the rest of manufacturing industry and the world that "Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely" and why no large organisation should ever be under the control of one person but needs to be subject to a collective control by a strong and effective management structure. The naration by and large was very good but the listener needs to be aware that on occasions the short interludes in German language followed by an English translation can be disconcerting.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-18-17

An honest, intense, no holes bared biography

This work of reference and I say that not book, is a superb example of investigative work that told it like history should record it and it should be known. Beautifully written, very skilfully narrated it held my interest from beginning to end. The use of German language with an accompanying translation to English was unusual and added greatly to the gusto of the time, another clever element in a brilliant expose of important family tidings interwoven with sometimes catastrophic events. - thank you

1 person found this helpful

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  • Samantha
  • 09-14-21

An epic journey through modern European history

This is a massive work but well worth it. The Krupp family history provides the framework for a saga of modern European history. I learned much.